Bosch Season Two – An Amazon Original Series

The second season of the Amazon Prime Original Series Bosch premiered on March 11th. Titus Welliver is back as the laconic LAPD Homicide Detective Harry Bosch. Also returning as part of a stellar cast are Lance Reddick (The Wire) as Deputy Police Chief Irvin Irving, Amy Aquino as Bosch’s direct supervisor Command Detective Lt.Grace Billets, and Jamie Hector (also from The Wire) as Bosch’s partner Jerry Edgar.

They work out of the Hollywood Division and the direction likes lots of airborne cameras so we always are aware of the huge size and sprawl of LA as seen from a helicopter. Now airborne cameras are nothing new to TV or even police shows – just think of True Detective’s second season.

But Bosch is nothing like the detectives we watched in True Detective. As the second season begins we witness a murder or execution (gangland style) high up on Mulholland Drive. We then cut to Bosch shaving off his beard that he grew while he was under a six-month suspension that he got after tossing a supervisor through a plate-glass panel at HQ at the end of the 1st season. He’s about to return to work.

Harry does return to work, and as we watch and admire his intensity, we also have to live with his dry humor when we get to see it as he’s mostly humorless. But this makes for a strong detective. Yes, he’s often grumpy – but that’s the result of his drive to solve the cases.

 

The case that Bosch and Edgar caught was the Mulholland Drive murder. The vic was a porn producer who apparently did quite well as he lived in a posh gated community high up in the Hollywood Hills.

This porn producer, named Tony Allen, was connected to the Armenian mobster Joey Marks, and Allen’s trophy wife Veronica is played by Jeri Ryan who long ago starred in the Star Trek: Voyager series.

But Bosch is more than just one case at a time, so there’s a whole lot more. Watching this second season requires that you keep track of a number of story threads, and they take their time in tying them all together.

Besides the murder, Chief Irving’s 20-something son is working as a plain-clothes cop out in the Valley, Bosch gets a call about his own mother’s murder (a cold-case from 30 years ago). Then there’s an Anti-Terrorism Federal Task Force, some dirty cops, Harry’s relationship with his ex-wife and now teen-age daughter who live in Las Vegas, drugs, prostitution, politics, and money-laundering.

This season is taken from three of author Michael Connelly’s books – Trunk Music (1997) is the main source along with elements from The Drop (2011) and the The Last Coyote (1995). Now if you are a fan of the Bosch novels, then this is good news. If you’ve never read any of the books, then the source material is of no importance to you. You are just watching a crackling good TV series.

Welliver is fine as the been there, done that detective, who might be a little world-weary and rough around the edges. But while he’s doing a role we’ve all seen before, he still manages to make Bosch both formidable and memorable.

But for me the, the supporting cast as well as the plotting really go a long way toward making this show sparkle. Some may call the series a tad slow – and in one sense it is. There’s limited action – a chase on foot, a shootout in a bank parking lot, and the explosive finale in the woods plus a few more executions – but you don’t crave action.

The cases, and the way Bosch (and we viewers) have to juggle multiple story lines, is a tribute to how well crafted this series really is. I think that the stories are not about misleading you, or deceiving you – rather they keep back enough so you don’t come away thinking – are they kidding – that was so, so obvious.

Yes, you will be able to predict certain connections and events to come, but not everything is foreshadowed. I was most impressed that a detective show that did not feature a lot of action, a show that did not need magnificent or unbelievable amounts of brain power for either we or Bosch to connect the dots, and a show that treated politicians, police bosses, and competing detectives in a realistic manner – could be this good.

I think Bosch Season 2 deserves to be called an excellent series, and it is definitely worth watching.

Check out the trailer:

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